Self-Esteem May Be Set At The Age of 5

Posted on November 7, 2015

Photo source: Flickr

Self-esteem tends to remain stable across the lifespan. At the age of just five, children have developed a sense of self-esteem as strong as adults, a new study finds.

Says Professor Andrew Meltzoff, one of the study's authors:

"Some scientists consider preschoolers too young to have developed a positive or negative sense about themselves. Our findings suggest that self-esteem, feeling good or bad about yourself, is fundamental. It is a social mindset children bring to school with them, not something they develop in school."

Testing the self-esteem of young children has been a challenge till now; Dr. Dario Cvencek who led the study, explains:

“Preschoolers can give verbal reports of what they’re good at as long as it is about a narrow, concrete skill, such as ‘I’m good at running’ or ‘I’m good with letters,’ but they have difficulties providing reliable verbal answers to questions about whether they are a good or bad person.”

The researchers used a novel method to examine implicit self-esteem which looks for associations - for example, if there are links between the word "self" and "pleasant" or "unpleasant".

“Our work provides the earliest glimpse to date of how preschoolers sense their selves..Our findings underscore the importance of the first five years as a foundation for life.”

Category(s):Child Development, Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem

Source material from PsyBlog

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